I WAS BORN
Well, I say ‘born’, but I was 9 weeks premature, made my mother incredibly ill on what was supposed to be her final holiday before her first kid arriving and was subsequently extracted from her womb in Oxford, London instead of Melbourne, Australia. Great for me in many ways, however because a) I’m miraculously alive today which might not have been the case at any other hospital due to technology (preeclampsia and HELP syndrome are dangerous), and b) I can have duel citizenship! Which is a potentially crucial part of my career plan to which I refer below.
I PLAYED A LOT OF MUSIC
I chose my first instrument of the cello at age seven and learned it right through high school. I now play and teach cello professionally (including rock cello) as well as having learned piano, guitar, percussion and singing. I have also taught myself clarinet, mandolin, piano accordion, ukulele, bass and viola with the aim of learning as many instruments as humanely possible within my lifetime.
I AM VERY DRAMATIC
I’m one of those people who can be both extremely shy and remarkably vivacious. I’ve spent the better part of my life being the former, but from the moment I was introduced to drama as a nine-year-old I was intoxicated by it. As a teenager, I discovered “Doctor Who” and can legitimately credit it to being responsible for me friendship with one of my close friends and my entire acting career; I am an actor for the same reasons as David Tennant: I want to play the Doctor one day. And also I love acting, especially stage combat.
I TOOK A STEP SIDEWAYS
You’ve seen the music paragraph, so it should come as no surprise to you that everyone thought I would study music after school. Even I thought so! I wanted to be a composer, and as luck would have it that is now one aspect of my career, but after audition for music and drama I ended up choosing to study a Bachelor of Production at the Victorian College of the Arts. I majored in sound, which means I know how to design a sound system and install it, mix small-scale musicals, sound design and compose for theatre, film and dance, and most importantly how to collaborate with other creatives. Of course, I convinced anyone who would listen to let me perform live music or compose original works for their projects as well as pursuing acting opportunities…and this study led to my first big job working as a Radio Microphone Technician on “King Kong” at the Regent Theatre.
I’M PRIVILEGED TO HAVE DONE COOL THINGS
Yes, it is completely unheard of for a ginormous sound company to hire a graduating student with little experience to work on the premiere of a Broadway musical. Yes, I somehow charmed my way through the interview and pretended to have some idea of what was happened on my first day. Yes, I was absolutely amazing and also nearly killed me! My personal highlight would have to be playing the ‘coin game’ with several cast and crew members, wherein whoever guessed the correct minute of the pre-show announcement would win a foreign coin from an impressive collection one of the cast kept in his dressing room drawer.
Speaking of ridiculous career opportunities, I also danced with Kylie Minogue for the 2014 Logies in Melbourne. You remember the lip-syncing and dancer pay scandal? I was right in the centre of it, although I will avoid any comment except to say that Kylie was lovely and I am in no way a trained dancer, but am incredibly grateful for being allowed onstage regardless.
One last cool thing I’m proud of: I have composed, orchestrated, musical directed, conducted and played piano in an original musical. Yes, that was all at the same time and I got to wear a cape!